The Advantages to Fighting Traffic Tickets with a Speeding Ticket Attorney in Panama City
The Seriousness of Traffic Tickets
Most adults will receive a traffic ticket at some point in their lives. Because Americans spend so much time in their vehicles, it stands to reason that even the most careful driver will receive a traffic violation. The vast majority of those who receive traffic tickets shrug their shoulders, mail in a check and vow never to get another ticket—or at least not to get caught! Few of us really realize just what we are doing when we send in that check. When you pay a traffic ticket—no matter how minor the violation—you have admitted your guilt and you will now receive a conviction for the offense. You may have received a civil traffic conviction or a criminal traffic conviction—while the criminal conviction will bring consequences that will potentially last much longer, both can be quite serious. Civil traffic offenses that you will want to speak to a Panama City traffic ticket lawyer about include the following:
- Failure to properly restrain children in an automobile
- Expired registration
- No proof of insurance
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Failure to properly yield
- Improper parking
Criminal traffic offenses include driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, driving with an expired registration of more than six months and speeding which results in an accident. An experienced Panama City traffic ticket attorney can give you information regarding your particular traffic violation. All moving violations, whether criminal or civil, will result in points being added to your driving record in the event of a conviction.
When you consider that a speeding ticket for traveling more than 16 miles over the speed limit puts four points on your record, and most other moving violations put three points on your driving record, you can see that getting several tickets in the course of a year could result in your losing your license for at least a month. The points on your license also cause your auto insurance rates to increase, sometimes alarmingly. It is estimated that a single speeding ticket will cost you over $900 over a three year period in increased auto insurance premiums.
Criminal traffic convictions can have both immediate and long-term consequences; depending on the offense, you may be required to pay a steep fine, and could even spend time in jail for particularly serious criminal traffic violations. Even after you have completed your sentencing for the criminal traffic conviction, you will continue to deal with the fallout for a very long time. A criminal conviction of any kind—even for a traffic offense—can leave you unable to rent a home, unable to obtain a professional license, unable to return to college on a government loan, and unable to secure employment that you are well-qualified for. A Panama City traffic ticket lawyer from our firm will work tirelessly to ensure the most positive outcome of your traffic ticket possible.
Points System for Florida Traffic Violations
The following is a more comprehensive list of the points assigned to specific traffic offenses in Panama City:
- Passing a school bush which is stopped—4 points
- Running a red light—4 points
- Reckless driving—4 points
- A collision caused by another moving violation—4 points
- Leaving the scene of an accident which has incurred more than $50 in property damage or in which a person was injured—6 points
- Any collision resulting from a speeding violation—6 points
- Exceeding the speed limit more than 16 miles over the speed limit—4 points
- Exceeding the speed limit more 15 miles or less over the speed limit—3 points
- Toll violations—3 points
- Violating the open container law—3 points
- Violations of child safety restraints—3 points
- Parking on a highway—3 points
- All other moving violations—3 points
Attending traffic school following receipt of a citation will negate the points for any offense which qualifies under the points system, however you are only allowed to attend traffic school one time each year, and only five times total. Should you choose to attend traffic school, your Panama City traffic ticket attorney will notify the clerk of the court. If you hold a commercial driver’s license traffic school is not an option, therefore you will receive points for your moving violation. If your license has been suspended due to an excess of points, a traffic ticket lawyer in Panama City may be able to assist you in getting a hardship license after completing a twelve-hour Advanced Driving Improvement Course as well as paying the required reinstatement fees.
Under Florida law, a person who is designated as a Habitual Traffic Offender could have their driver’s license permanently revoked, or be subject to a five-year suspension. Florida Statutes define a Habitual Traffic Offender as a person who has numerous criminal convictions for traffic offenses within a five-year period. As an example, a person who has three convictions within a five year period for any felony using a motor vehicle, driving a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license, a conviction of vehicular manslaughter, DUI violations, failing to stop and render aid at an accident which resulted in a death or serious bodily injury, or driving a commercial vehicle with a suspended license. Being designated as a habitual traffic offender is extremely serious—if you feel you may have reached that designation, it is imperative that you contact a skilled Panama City traffic ticket attorney who will evaluate the circumstances and help you minimize the damage.
How We Can Help With Your Traffic Citations
The attorneys at our firm offer skilled representation, superior client service and a genuine commitment to the Panama City community. Our attorneys bring over three decades of combined experience; we know how things work and the most expedient ways to get things done and help our clients. While our attorneys are skilled negotiators, we are also aggressive litigators who will fight tenaciously for your future. The attorneys offer a level of personal attention you are unlikely to receive elsewhere—we are accessible, responsive and have a deep understanding and knowledge of the laws related to your charges.
When possible, we will attempt to have your ticket dismissed, using a number of technical issues regarding how your ticket was issued, whether the speed device used to calculate your speed (for a speeding ticket) was properly calibrated and maintained, and whether the police officer in your case was properly trained in the use of the equipment. The attorneys have outstanding credentials and will use every resource at their disposal as your Panama City traffic ticket attorney to minimize the damage your traffic citation can bring.